49 lessons

A decade or two ago I started a personal tradition of acknowledging and celebrating the day before a birthday. It’s a great time to reflect on the year that has gone by and a perfect time to set intentions for the next year or years to come. With that in mind, I thought I would share 49 things I’ve learned or use as guiding principles as my 49th time around the sun comes to a conclusion.

49 practical tips and tidbits for better living

  1. Start off each day by doing one positive thing to help improve your or someone else’s life. It will frame the whole day in a better light.
  2. Write down your goals. You are more likely to achieve them.
  3. Listen more than you speak.
  4. Plan for the future and live in the moment.
  5. Fashions may change. Having style does not.
  6. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  7. Details matter.
  8. Be nicer than is necessary. It costs nothing and makes the world a better place.
  9. When it comes to interests, hobbies, and career paths pick one. Your choice doesn’t have to be forever. Simply choose and start. You have more time than you realize to fit in many new things throughout your life. Become amazing at something and then choose again.
  10. It’s better to find out than to not know.
  11. Confidence is key. If you don’t have it, act as if you do. No one will notice the difference.
  12. The truth is, appearance matters. The better you look, the more opportunities come your way. It’s your job to show substance once your foot is in the door.
  13. Send flowers for no reason.
  14. Appreciate every moment you have with others. You never know when it will be the last one.
  15. Learn to meditate and do it regularly.
  16. What you choose to ingest on a regular basis can make your world heavenly or hellish. Altering your choices can morph your life for better or ill.
  17. With enough determination, persistence, effort, and faith virtually anything is possible.
  18. Keep your passport current. You never know where the night may lead.
  19. Save and invest 10% of everything you earn. The sooner you do this, the easier your life will become in the future.
  20. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  21. The only thing that heals a broken heart is time. No amount of alcohol, drugs, partners, or food can heal that pain.
  22. Three hundred and fifty dollar dress shoes save you money in the long run as long as you take care of them.
  23. Find small ways to bring positive, unexpected surprises to others. One kind act can alter the course of a person’s day and perhaps even their life.
  24. Listen when people talk. You’d be surprised what they tell you.
  25. Celebrate often.
  26. Don’t be attached to the timeframe. Set the intention. It will happen, in time, with action and faith.
  27. Books stimulate your mind. TV dulls it.
  28. You don’t need to be in love. You want to be in love. Knowing this makes a big difference.
  29. If you’re not trying things that scare you at least a little, you aren’t really growing.
  30. If your boss wears a suit, you should too.
  31. Remember tomorrow may never come.
  32. Your thoughts create your reality.
  33. You should act as if your every action affects 1,000 people for 1,000 years, because it does.
  34. At least once in your life get a massage.
  35. People like others who smell good. This doesn’t mean bathe in perfume or cologne.
  36. Always have a bottle of champagne chilled, ready to go. You never know when you’ll have something to celebrate.
  37. Moisturize your face. You will thank yourself when you are 60.
  38. Allow yourself to become yourself.
  39. Never settle for less than what you want, but understand it may be a long time before you get it.
  40. People can change when they realize that the pleasure of changing is greater than the pain of staying the same.
  41. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say in person.
  42. Far too many of us allow making a living to get in the way of making a life.
  43. Just for today, be the best you that you can be. The past has passed.
  44. When you are more than a couple of minutes late for an appointment, it shows how much (or little) you value that person.
  45. Begin the day with a glass or two of water. Yes, even before coffee.
  46. Push yourself. You can do more than you fathom.
  47. The thing to remember is this, you always have a choice. Always.
  48. You are an example to more people than you can possibly understand. Be a good one.
  49. The best is yet to come.